Skip to main content

Free Content Acute finger temperature changes preceding sleep onsets over a 45-h period

Download Article:

You have access to the full text article on a website external to Ingenta Connect.

Please click here to view this article on Wiley Online Library.

You may be required to register and activate access on Wiley Online Library before you can obtain the full text. If you have any queries please visit Wiley Online Library



A resurgence in the field of sleep initiation and thermoregulation has seen a number of investigators reporting relatively gradual increases in distal skin temperatures of the hands and feet prior to sleep onset at typical bedtimes. The present study extends upon prior knowledge by investigating whether: (1) this is a change of distal skin temperature triggered specifically by the attempt to fall asleep and (2) whether this relationship holds for various phases of the circadian rhythm whenever sleep is attempted. Fourteen healthy good sleepers participated in a modified 45-h constant routine (CR) with multiple sleep onset latency tests (MSLT) conducted every half hour. After a brief decrease of finger temperature associated with small postural adjustments at the beginning of each sleep latency test, finger temperature showed rapid (0.8 °C min−1) increases of 1–3 °C leading up to the onset of sleep. This rapid increase of finger temperature was relatively consistent across the 45-h CR, despite very significant circadian variation of the pre-MSLT baseline finger temperature and homeostatic decrease of sleep latency.

Keywords: circadian rhythm; finger temperature; sleep onset

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences, The Flinders University of South Australia, Bedford Park, South Australia, Australia

Publication date: 2002-12-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more